Unfortunately mosquito season has arrived (aka the worst part about the weather warming up). Scientists are predicting a small increase in mosquitoes this spring and summer. Tis the season! If you're someone like me who is always victim to endless itchy mosquito bites (seriously, why me?) then we have some tips for you. Did you know that certain flowers and plants act as natural mosquito repellents?
Many of these plants are more common than you might think. They can also be found at your local nursery. Using plants for mosquito control is an easy, safe and natural alternative to store-bought sprays. Check out these 9 plants that repel mosquitoes naturally.
Citronella is known as the mosquito plant because the citronella scent is infused into many candles and sprays. Keep this natural bug repellent near your doorway for easy pest control. Citronella plants should be planted outside after your last frost. If you decide to plant these in pots, move it outside to your porch so it can repel mosquitoes in the springtime. This plant loves a little afternoon shade and rich, moist soil.
Lavender isn't just the essential oil from your bubble bath. Insects are deterred by the plant's leaves and flowers making it another option for a mosquito repelling plant. Lavender is a perennial plant that requires full sun. It prefers to live in pots with rich soil that isn't too moist. It makes a beautiful addition to any porch with is beautiful light purple, pink or white flowers.
The distinctive smell of marigolds is considered particularly offensive to mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, which is a compound used in many insect repellents. Besides repelling mosquitoes, marigolds can be planted near your vegetable garden as they repel insects that prey on young tomato plants as well. These beautiful plants prefer full sun and fertile soil. Although you can plant them from seeds, they are much easier to purchase at your local garden center.
Carry Pennyroyal leaves and stems with you to deter insects. An added bonus is they also deter fleas and ticks from your pets. Be sure you don't consume the oils from pennyroyal plants as it can be toxic to humans.
From pests to vampires, garlic is known for keeping unwanted prey away. It's ability to deter unwanted insects has been scientifically proven, although the exact component is unknown. Toss the bug spray and try this unexpected mosquito repellant instead (which you probably already have in your kitchen anyway).
Mints have a distinct aroma that acts as a natural insect repellent. Mint is a hardy and prolific plant that grows well in a potted environment. Mint comes in many varieties including chocolate mint, peppermint, apple mint, lemon mint and many others. You can pick the mint leaves and rub them on your skin for added protection.
The sweet aroma from Lemongrass is detested by insects. It can also calm nerves, promote restful sleep, and reduce digestive distress. You can plant this in pots around your porch and keep it near your home entrances for easy pest control. For a quick relief from insects, crush up a handful of leaves and keep them in your pocket or rub them on your skin.
Most cat lovers know this herb, but the pungent smell also repels mosquitoes. Start catnip by sowing seeds in pots or your flower beds. This herb of the mint family will grow in almost any soil in full sun. Catnip can grow 3-5' tall so don't plant this one where you have limited space.
Try growing Basil in an herb garden or in pots on your porch. As a natural way to keep insects away crush a handful of leaves and put them in your pocket or rub them on your skin. For best results, try lemon basil or cinnamon basil. These emit a stronger scent. The added bonus is you can use this herb in your favorite recipes.
If you have an overabundance of mosquitoes, don't underestimate them. Using natural plants is a safe and effective way to ward them off, but sometimes additional protection from sprays may be necessary. Use caution especially in areas where West Nile, Zika and other diseases are found.